Amarnath shrine board members resign

August 6th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Srinagar/Jammu, Aug 6 (IANS) Eight of the 10 members Wednesday stepped down from Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to facilitate the possible reconstitution of the temple trust that has been at the heart of over a month-long stir in Jammu and Kashmir. In order to facilitate the reconstitution of the SASB, the members have tendered their resignations to Governor N.N. Vohra, who is ex officio chairman of the trust, highly placed sources said.

“The resignations are under the consideration of the governor,” said a spokesman of the SASB.

The members who have resigned are Justice (retd) G.D. Sharma, Vishnu Murti Shastri, Sunil Sachdeva, Manoj Gaur, Vimla Dhar, Neerja Mattoo, Raghu Modi and Arun Kumar.

The shrine board has 10 members with the governor as its chairman and his principal secretary as its chief executive officer.

Jammu and Kashmir has been reeling under communal unrest since May 26 when the former government ordered transfer of 40 hectares of forest land to the SASB for creating “temporary and pre-fabricated” huts for Hindu pilgrims visiting the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

The order was revoked July 1 following violent protests in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley. But the revocation upset the Hindu-majority Jammu region, which has been witnessing continuous shutdowns and violent stirs for the past 35 days. At least 14 people have been killed in the state over the issue.

The governor, in his meeting Monday with the Amarnath Yatra Sangarash Samiti (AYSS), a group spearheading the campaign against the revocation of land orders, had mentioned that the induction of eminent people from Jammu and Kashmir regions would inspire confidence in the functioning of the shrine board.

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